# why not hide the numbers?

This topic is 4592 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

## Recommended Posts

humans by nature like definite facts even when not available (look at statistics).

the joy of rpgs is also in the numbers and weighing up of your skill.

##### Share on other sites
Quote:
 Original post by JiiaSo the moral of the story is that we should force the player to identify and make sense of everything in the game world on his own.Does that also mean that the ring of fire isn't a ring of fire at all unless the words are actually written on it? It's just a red ring, and since it is unique, no one alive has ever heard of it. No one would even know it has magical powers. So unless I want to look like an idiot shouting in magical toungue every time I try on a peice of jewerly, I would just ignore it. Let us also hope it's not a one-time use item, or even shouting in tongues will be a waste, and it's possible I may explode, be transported to hell, or fry my best friend when it goes off. I guess I can save, test it, then reload. [wink]

No that was not my point. My point was "How about other means to comunicate this information" with the player. And unique (was not meant literaly, rare would probably fit better) does not mean nobody ever heard of it. (And I am not thinking in MMO terms, where you can't avoid mass production. I'm thinking about offline RPG's or maybe Very Small Scale Online RPGs where items are placed by the level designer *g*)

##### Share on other sites
I would have to say that I agree with the OP, for the most part. As it is, graphics are a large part of the game, and take up a lot of the team's time, like it or not. I think that the graphics and sound need to be utilized more (or less, as in the first example) to enforce rules. For example, if the server decides that a player failed his "spot check" on seeing the Goblin Horde, then it just doesn't send visual data about the goblins. However, if the character managed to hear them, it might send data about the sound. Sure, the player can always turn up the sound, but you could always have the client or the server (depends on how vital it is not to get hax0red) blur the volume somehow.

If the character is getting hurt, there are lots of ways to do visual or auditory clues. Make the screen tinge with red around the edges, make "blood drips" down the screen, make the character's breath audibly pained. When the character gets hit (if it is a console game) make the controller rumble, or make the character yell and flash the screen, or something of that nature.

When the character fails to pick the lock, make auditory clues, such as cussing in frustration if it is way to hard to pick, or "almost got it, damn" if they were nearly finished and their pick snapped. ALternatively, make them spend more time rattling around with the lock if it is harder to pick. Use their visual senses: obviously a thirty pound, solid metal, engraved, glowing magic lock on the iron door of the Wizard's Tower is going to be more difficult to pick than the lock you get at the gym for your locker.

If the game is third person, some sort of character deforming could possibly be used to represent muscles. Also, if they are weak, make them drag around the huge Cloud sword they just picked up. If their name is Hrolfgar the Barbarian, make them twirl it around like its nothing.

Use your imagination! There are LOTS of ways to represent things visually in games, more than ever. This is only going to get easier and easier to do. Of course there are stat-crunchers and munchkins out there, but maybe this will wind up being a whole new "immersion-RPG" genre.

##### Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Programmer16
Quote:
 Original post by c-RowMaybe the CHARACTER knows which one is stronger by looking at the handcrafted blade, the fine drawings on it and other things. You shouldn't expect the character to know only what the player knows. Conan never needed stats to determine which sword was better... ;)

The player should determine which is better, since the character doesn't know what to use (unless you program the character to know what he is going up against and can automatically equip the best equipment for that fight.) Say I'm fighting a dragon and I have two swords. Dragon Slayer and Carsomyr. Which one should be used?

Well, you could have something like old, very experienced swordmaster NPC in the game who, when visited by the player and paid considerable amount of money for their time, takes a good look at the swords, and tells the player's character that this particular piece of metal looks like say, some elf work that'd be particularly well suited for slaying dragons, or something to that effect. Same for the magic items, identifying these and what exactly they can do should perhaps be left to wizards (also for considerable amount of money, given that the wizard risks losing a limb or the head while trying to figure out how the item works)

This way you can give the player a fair idea what their gear can do, without actually handing them all the info on the silver platter the very moment the item drops...

##### Share on other sites
Quote:
 Original post by tolarisWell, you could have something like old, very experienced swordmaster NPC in the game who, when visited by the player and paid considerable amount of money for their time, takes a good look at the swords, and tells the player's character that this particular piece of metal looks like say, some elf work that'd be particularly well suited for slaying dragons, or something to that effect. Same for the magic items, identifying these and what exactly they can do should perhaps be left to wizards (also for considerable amount of money, given that the wizard risks losing a limb or the head while trying to figure out how the item works)This way you can give the player a fair idea what their gear can do, without actually handing them all the info on the silver platter the very moment the item drops...

Exactly, I would't make it that risky to identify magic items though, unless magic is hostile and unpredictable in the game world. Thats bad style. Hoever, giving the player some minor drawbacks could be quite fun. I brought an example (some posts ago) of an NPC tricking a player by giving him a cursed sword. I would make sure the player would actualy survive (or atleast have good odds of doing so) but is piss off by the NPC so he goes after him and maybe have a small side quest to get rid of the sword. This would give quite a nice quest, since the character/player has a motive (revenge) and would it be a waste to kill the player.

##### Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by tolaris
Quote:
Original post by Programmer16
Quote:
 Original post by c-RowMaybe the CHARACTER knows which one is stronger by looking at the handcrafted blade, the fine drawings on it and other things. You shouldn't expect the character to know only what the player knows. Conan never needed stats to determine which sword was better... ;)

The player should determine which is better, since the character doesn't know what to use (unless you program the character to know what he is going up against and can automatically equip the best equipment for that fight.) Say I'm fighting a dragon and I have two swords. Dragon Slayer and Carsomyr. Which one should be used?

Well, you could have something like old, very experienced swordmaster NPC in the game who, when visited by the player and paid considerable amount of money for their time, takes a good look at the swords, and tells the player's character that this particular piece of metal looks like say, some elf work that'd be particularly well suited for slaying dragons, or something to that effect. Same for the magic items, identifying these and what exactly they can do should perhaps be left to wizards (also for considerable amount of money, given that the wizard risks losing a limb or the head while trying to figure out how the item works)

This way you can give the player a fair idea what their gear can do, without actually handing them all the info on the silver platter the very moment the item drops...

Exactly! That's what I was talking about... use hints, lots of hints, in the game to give the players an idea of what's going on in terms of game mechanics, but don't feed them from a bottle. The games are often convoluted enough, since trying to figure out game mechanics that can stabilize a world with a couple hundred (thousand?) players can be rought, especially in the economics department. I personally think that as our technology gets better and better, the computer should start playing more and more of a role with the player.

##### Share on other sites
Quote:
 Original post by superpigI think my point of view is best summarised thus: WHO CARES?! HE'S GOT A FRICKIN' GUN IN YOUR FACE! [grin]

But what if you're wearing Class A Power Armor? Or you've cast Stoneflesh on yourself?

I'm not sure, but in this example you may be arguing for completely arbitrary resolutions, which would effectively dull the amount of variability and variety of encounter.

Quote:
 However, let me describe my dream sword shop in such a game. You go in, and there are five swords in the rack. Firstly and most obviously, you (the player) can look at them, and see that some look more badass than others. You can tell your character to 'examine' a sword, and he can pick it up, test its edge, hold it and feel it in his hand, and then he 'thinks' (via a text box on your UI), "Hmm, good edge... it's quite heavy though." So this time instead of choosing 'examine' you choose 'compare' and click on another sword. He picks up the second sword, examines it, and eventually produces a thought like "This one is lighter than that one, and the grip fits my hand better. However, that one has the sharper edge." The player is then free to choose which one to go for based on their goals and style (e.g. they could get the blunt sword and then get it sharpened).

Yikes! Your dream is my nightmare! [grin]

Here's an easy example to see why:

Mission 1: Go kill bandit kidnappers. Done. Return to town. Wait through five anims and text responses. Get best sword. Wait through 6 more anim / text responses describing loot. Next mission.

Mission 2: Go scare off trolls infesting farm. Done. Return to town. Wait through five more anims and text responses. Buy best sword. Save, quit, go to sleep.

Reload 1 week later: Now what was I doing. Oh, yeah, have two swords. Which did I want to sell. Wait for 2 anims. Oh yeah. Sell one. Now what was wrong with those others? Wait through four anims. Oh, right, "bad grip," "seems brittle," "shoddy workmanship," "too light," etc.

And I still have loot to sell?!?!?! No wonder I'm spending 20 minutes in the freakin' shop instead of playing the game!

##### Share on other sites
Quote:
 Original post by WavinatorAnd I still have loot to sell?!?!?! No wonder I'm spending 20 minutes in the freakin' shop instead of playing the game!

Yes that would be anoying, but that would just be bad implementation. But I was anoyed like this by Dungeon Seage, which told you that sword gives you +15% swiftness / +5% damage / +5% intelligence. That was also bad implementation.

edit: and you had to take the best wepons to survive the hord of enemies waiting beyond the town wall.

##### Share on other sites
But, If I don't know how well I can pick locks, how do I know that I have to improve it. And, if I don't know who has a higher strength rating, how do I know who to use to break the lock (in case I don't have theif.) If I use graphics, then I should assume that because person A is a giant barbarian I shouldn't even try fighting him (I mean seriously, look at how easy he swings that sword!) Or that dragon that I'm fighting, if I don't know that my sword does 5d4 + 5 damage, and my thunderbolt spell does 10d10 damage, and my ranger's magic arrows do 4d4 damage + 2 electric damage each, I might just think to myself:

Ok, I have Carsomyr, a mighty elven empowered, evil-killing sword, a thunderbolt spell that can kill a umber hulk, and arrows that can kill a goblin in one hit and does electric damage. I have no chance against a dragon that spits fireballs and can hit all of my team at once. When in all actuality I can kill him in one turn from each player.

And whats an old master swordsman going to say: Oh, that's Carsomyr. It was forged by elves to cut through the undead? Well that really tells me that it does double or triple damage to undead creatures. It might even have the chance to utterly destroy them if they fail a saving throw of 3d6. But I decide to put on the Mace of Light that the old man also says was made to cut through undead, but it only does 2 extra points of damage and has no chance of utterly destroying them.

There's also spells. I learned fireball at the very beginning of the game, but I learned ball of lightning halfway through the game, so it must be stronger. What if I have 2 sets of lock picks. One has a nice red, leather case and the other one is carried in a cardboard box. Just because the leather one looks better, doesn't make it better.

Are you going to buy a car when the guy says: It goes really, really fast (you can tell because it as spoilers and leather interior, with 2 15's in the trunk), or are you going to buy the car from the guy that says: Oh, its got a 454 in it and comes with an optional spoiler.

##### Share on other sites
Quote:
 Original post by nefthyYes that would be anoying, but that would just be bad implementation. But I was anoyed like this by Dungeon Seage, which told you that sword gives you +15% swiftness / +5% damage / +5% intelligence. That was also bad implementation.edit: and you had to take the best wepons to survive the hord of enemies waiting beyond the town wall.

My point was the strongest weapon isn't always the best. A sword that does 50 points of damage isn't as good as a sword that does 25 points of damage, 10 points of water damage, and double damage against fire elementals (when you're fighting fire elementals).

Edit: Oh, and thanks for helping me prove my point. If you know that you have a strength of 18, and a regular bastard sword. You can go defeat that horde of 50 goblins without the best weapons. Or, you're an ranger with a longbow, you can make 7/2 shots (thats 7 shots every two rounds), and have a thac0(to hit armor class 0) of -17. I've done this without them even getting within 10 feet of me.

This also brings in armor class and hit points. How do I know how much damage I can take if I don't have a hit points and know how many points of damage I've taken. Just because my character is bleeding and/or limping doesn't mean I'm almost dead. That could just mean that I'm mildy hurt and SHOULD seek healing. If I know that I have 50 hit points left and the monster I'm fighting only does around 5-10 damage each time he hits me, I can assume that I'll beat him long before he beats me (because my sword does 4d6 + 5 damage, and my spellcaster does 10 with here magic arrow spell, and my ranger does 2d4 with his arrows.)

##### Share on other sites
Quote:
 Original post by silverphyre673Use your imagination! There are LOTS of ways to represent things visually in games, more than ever. This is only going to get easier and easier to do.Of course there are stat-crunchers and munchkins out there, but maybe this will wind up being a whole new "immersion-RPG" genre.

I'm afraid it's not about originality, it's about economics. While I'm all for coming up with out of the box responses, a content heavy approach is a recipe for disaster. Since you're posting on GameDev, rather than the Shiny or EA forums, I'll assume your focus is indie developers.

If so, then most of the ideas so far simply will not scale well on a budget. When you hear the character oomph or aaargh! for the 76th time, you'll know what I mean. Visual and audio cues are long retained in the brain, making repetition annoying, whereas numbers flee rather quickly. Anyone who has had to sit through repetitive cut-scenes they can't space through knows how old it can get. Visually representing stats means that you're giving the player lots of bite-sized cutscenes, none of which they can skip.

The other problem is that the more you put into visually and auditorially representing systems that 95% of your audience already accepts in stat form, the less you have to do anything else. So, sure, you can show sweating brows, limping from herniated disks, compound fractures from falling too far, etc., etc. ad infinitum.

Just be prepared to drop alot of the quests, special action scripts, monsters, items and locations you were planning on. And call it something other than an RPG.

##### Share on other sites
Quote:
 Original post by WavinatorIf so, then most of the ideas so far simply will not scale well on a budget. When you hear the character oomph or aaargh! for the 76th time, you'll know what I mean. Visual and audio cues are long retained in the brain, making repetition annoying, whereas numbers flee rather quickly. Anyone who has had to sit through repetitive cut-scenes they can't space through knows how old it can get. Visually representing stats means that you're giving the player lots of bite-sized cutscenes, none of which they can skip.

I agree whole heartedly. After playing BG2 for about an hour and hearing "I could use some healing..." I just want to say "SHUT UP, I heard you the first time you stupid gnome!!!"

Unless your visual cue is going to cover the whole screen or part of the screen, I wouldn't do it. Using BG2 for an example (again), half the time my mages/archers die because I had no warning that they were stunned (because I was watching my warrior so that he didn't die) other than a little tiny head that was added to the that character's avatar. No text was added to the console, no spell casting effects (since I was fighting illithid and they don't have to 'cast' the spell since it is innate.)

##### Share on other sites
Quote:
 Original post by Programmer16But, If I don't know how well I can pick locks, how do I know that I have to improve it. And, if I don't know who has a higher strength rating, how do I know who to use to break the lock (in case I don't have theif.) If I use graphics, then I should assume that because person A is a giant barbarian I shouldn't even try fighting him (I mean seriously, look at how easy he swings that sword!) Or that dragon that I'm fighting, if I don't know that my sword does 5d4 + 5 damage, and my thunderbolt spell does 10d10 damage, and my ranger's magic arrows do 4d4 damage + 2 electric damage each, I might just think to myself:

You have to get a fealing for this anyway. If you have the power to slay a dragon in a single round you should feel it in the game. You would be able to kill most of the other monsters with the glimse of an eye. So where's the problem

Quote:
 Ok, I have Carsomyr, a mighty elven empowered, evil-killing sword, a thunderbolt spell that can kill a umber hulk, and arrows that can kill a goblin in one hit and does electric damage. I have no chance against a dragon that spits fireballs and can hit all of my team at once. When in all actuality I can kill him in one turn from each player.And whats an old master swordsman going to say: Oh, that's Carsomyr. It was forged by elves to cut through the undead? Well that really tells me that it does double or triple damage to undead creatures. It might even have the chance to utterly destroy them if they fail a saving throw of 3d6. But I decide to put on the Mace of Light that the old man also says was made to cut through undead, but it only does 2 extra points of damage and has no chance of utterly destroying them.